Berlin BMW Guggenheim Canceled Following Threats

by Brian Boucher 03/21/12

An urban public project by BMW and the Guggenheim, planned to open in Berlin May 24, has been canceled due to threats of protests, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab, which made a splash on Manhattan’s Lower East Side when it debuted there last summer with panel discussions, film screenings and the like, was called off “as a consequence of threats to the project,” the Lab said in a statement. Berlin was the second stop on a six-year, nine-city tour.

Left-wing activists issued calls online to urge protesters to “derail” the project, according to the daily Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Ironically for a project intended to “address issues of contemporary urban life,” according to press materials, the Lab was derailed because opponents claimed the project would accelerate the gentrification of Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, where it was to take place, according to Bloomberg.

No new location has yet been announced, and in fact the Lab’s website still indicates it is en route to Berlin.

BMW iVentures Opens Incubator in West Village

February 1, 2012, 4:39 pm

BMW Plants Seeds of Silicon Valley in the West Village

By PHIL PATTON
Attendees at Tuesday's panel discussion and opening party for the BMW iVentures incubator in Manhattan.

Peter Morehand/BMW iVenturesAttendees at Tuesday’s panel discussion and opening party for the BMW iVentures incubator in Manhattan.

BMW iVentures, an investment arm begun in tandem with the automaker’s i subbrand, has established a start-up incubator on Morton Street in the West Village.

The space was inaugurated with a party and panel discussion on Tuesday. With the brand’s recent dalliances in smart-grid management in Mountain View, Calif., and the incubator opening party, the German automaker seems to be smitten with the Silicon Valley life.

At the party, panel speakers were expected to discuss “how digital technology can change, improve, disrupt, enhance and perhaps revolutionize mobility,” but their musings were mostly muted by the networking and snacking din.

The i subbrand is primarily oriented toward developing advanced-powertrain vehicles, like the i3 electric urban runabout, and more sustainable methods for producing them. BMW iVentures complements that image by nurturing or acquiring stakes in digital services related to efficient urban mobility.

The incubator, befitting an ascetically minded start-up, consists of an open floor space and a back room which, during the party, was filled with men working at computers and wearing expressions that suggested they didn’t intend to partake of the yellowtail sashimi.

Projects under the tutelage of BMW iVentures include the German car-sharing outfit DriveNow, the city-guide app developer MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse, billed as the parking equivalent of Airbnb.

MyCityWay is the only iVentures-backed business in the incubator, but ParkatmyHouse is expected to move in shortly, Kenn Sparks, a BMW spokesman, confirmed in an e-mail Tuesday. In the meantime, start-ups that have not been directly financed by iVentures may still be invited to work in the space. “Financial arrangements are decided on an individual basis, and the use of the incubator space can be included in an iVentures investment,” Mr. Sparks wrote.

The incubator is headed by the managing directors Ulrich Quay and Alexander Diehl. BMW iVentures also plans to work with the New York University‘s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy, as well as the high-tech academic venture recently announced by Mayor Bloomberg, involving Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/bmw-plants-seeds-of-silicon-valley-in-the-west-village/

BMW Guggenheim Lab – Berlin

Guggenheim Selects New Site for BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin

Download a PDF of this statement.

January 25, 2012

Following careful consideration, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has selected a new site for the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin, the combination think tank, public forum, and community center that will operate in Berlin from May 24 to July 29, 2012, as part of a nine-city, six-year tour. Berlin is the second stop for the Lab, following its successful inaugural run in New York City last fall.

The new site is in Kreuzberg, a Berlin neighborhood known for its engagement with social action and public art, and is centrally located on an expansive lot at the corner of Cuvrystrasse and Schlesische Strasse, along the River Spree. Visible from Berlinʼs landmark Oberbaumbrücke Bridge, the site is accessible from the Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn Station. The 8,400-square-meter lot will be able to accommodate a broad range of free public programming currently being developed by the Berlin Lab Team. While considering the move to this new site, the BMW Guggenheim Lab was in close contact with several key local stakeholders.

The Berlin Lab Team is formed by José Gómez-Márquez, program director for the Innovations in International Health Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, who practices in Italy and directs the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; Berlin-based artist Corinne Rose, who works with photography and video and teaches at the Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland; and Rachel Smith, principal transport planner with AECOM, based in Brisbane, Australia. The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin is curated by Guggenheim curator Maria Nicanor.

The size and accessibility of the site will provide an ideal backdrop for the Lab Team to develop programs, workshops, and other events and for participants to share, discuss, and develop ideas relating to urban life. The programming, all relating to the theme of Confronting Comfort, will focus on four main areas: Empowerment Technologies; Dynamic Connections; Urban Micro-Lens; and the Senseable (SENSEable) City.

The programs are being designed to directly and proactively engage residents from throughout Berlin, as well as visitors from around the world, and will address ideas and issues of particular relevance to the city. In addition, the BMW Guggenheim Lab website extends the reach of the Lab to a global online community through its interactive Urbanology game, multimedia, and Lab | Log, the projectʼs official blog and travel diary.

Press Contacts: Adriana Ellerman häberlein & mauerer +49 89 381 08-237 Adriana.Ellermann@haebmau.de
Tina Vaz/Betsy Ennis Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 212 423 3840 bmwguggenheimlab@guggenheim.org
Thomas Girst BMW Group +49 89 382 20067 thomas.girst@bmw.de

January 25, 2012 #1226/BGL11

http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/press-room/releases/4451-berlinsitechange